Posts Tagged ‘New York’
The Danger of Radon in Water
Radon is a radioactive gas with no color, odor or taste. Like helium, it is a noble gas. Radon is created as a byproduct of the breakdown of radioactive elements like thorium and uranium commonly found underground all over the country. This process is known as the radioactive decay chain. Because radon itself also exhibits a high degree of radioactivity, exposure to it can be extremely harmful. Furthermore, radon in water is particularly dangerous due to its tendency to build up inside homes in the New York region. As the elements in the soil beneath a house decay and create radon, the gas can rise into the home through cracks and other abnormalities in the foundation. Inside the home, radon becomes trapped, usually below the third floor, and its levels continue to grow.
Perhaps an even more subtle source of radon gas contamination is from a home’s water supply. Radon can contaminate underground water sources, then enter the house through its plumbing. The gas then escapes from the water into the air whenever you use the water for any purpose, further increasing the levels of radon trapped inside your home.
Overview of Radon in Water
Radon is actually much more dangerous when it is airborne. Comparatively speaking, waterborne radon is not considered very risky, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Airborne radon is considered particularly dangerous, however, because it causes lung cancer, which has a survival rate past five years of only 15 percent. Unfortunately, radon in water can eventually become airborne. In fact, in some contaminated homes, this is the primary source of the air contamination.
The risk of developing cancer increases 100 to 10,000 times when a person is exposed to waterborne radon as opposed to other waterborne chemicals. Water containing radon is largely a threat because the radon escapes the water and becomes trapped in homes, thus becoming the more dangerous airborne radon. However, not all radon escapes from water, which leads to the ingestion of radon, increasing the risk of stomach cancer as well. More than 15,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by airborne radon each year in the United States, while approximately 170 cancer cases are caused by drinking water tainted with waterborne radon — 89 percent of them when radon escaping from water is inhaled, and 11 percent due to drinking the tainted water, resulting in the development of stomach cancer.
The presence of radon in water is treatable, but unfortunately many cases of contamination in the area go undetected due to a simple lack of testing. Have SWAT Environmental’s experts test your home’s radon levels regularly, and if your house is found to be contaminated have them install equipment to address the issue. Aeration systems and granular carbon filtration systems are two effective options to remove radon from water, according to the EPA. SWAT Environmental’s professionals can assess each case to determine how best to correct the problem.
Is Your New York Home Safe From Radon?
January has the distinction of having been selected as National Radon Awareness Month by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Recognizing the deadly nature of radon, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency are both urging residents to have their homes tested for this radioactive gas during the month of January. Why January? This month occurs during the coldest season. January has been selected partly because this is the month when homeowners and their families begin to stay inside their homes more frequently. This added time indoors increases the risk of developing a serious illness due to radon exposure. It is also the beginning of a new year full of good resolutions.
Radon is formed below the earth’s surface when uranium breaks down. It is a radioactive gas that begins to fill in the voids existing within the ground. Eventually, this noxious gas begins to search for a way out of the ground, traveling along any cracks in the ground until eventually it reaches the earth’s surface or your area home’s foundation. Once radon gets into your home, it often becomes trapped in various rooms, partly because today’s homes are built to be air tight.
Not only can radon enter through the cracks in your building’s foundation, but it can also enter through open windows set directly above ground level or apertures where the utilities or ground water enters the home. Radon is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Therefore, unless you obtain a radon test kit, you won’t know whether or not your home has been contaminated by this radioactive gas.
What Area Residents Need to Know about Radon
While the amount of radon that enters your home depends on how easily it can get in, the home’s age or number of rooms doesn’t really matter. What does matter is how well the home is constructed or how many cracks or openings exist. In order to test your home for radon, you need to obtain a radon test kit, which is used to determine the levels of this radioactive gas within your home’s interior. If the levels test higher than 4.0 pci/L, then the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you have your area home undergo radon mitigation strategies.
Take Action and Have Your Area Home Tested by SWAT
During the month of January in recognition of National Radon Awareness Month, SWAT, the largest radon gas mitigator in the nation, is offering discounts on its radon mitigation strategies. Staffing the largest number of certified technicians as compared to other radon mitigation companies, SWAT has the expertise needed to eliminate this deadly gas from your home. Take a proactive step in keeping your family safe and arrange for radon testing today (and mitigation if necessary) in honor of National Radon Awareness Month.
New York is at High Risk of Radon and Vapor Intrusion
Did you know that radon vapor intrusion is quite common in the New York area? Unfortunately, it is, along with many of the other states across the United States. Homeowners living in New York may be exposed to radon due to high levels of vapor intrusion that have built up in their home without being released. This scenario places them at risk of developing lung cancer since radon is a known carcinogen.
Radon enters the home silently, typically through vapor intrusion, because it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It enters a building through cracks in the foundation and can even enter through basement windows or sump pump drains set in the floor of the basement. You never know that vapor intrusion has occurred in your New York home until you have it tested by radon mitigation specialists who come in and test for the level of contamination.
The EPA Realizes the Threat of Radon in New York
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has determined that minor vapor intrusion is safe up to a level of 4 pCI/L or picocuries per liter, suggesting that anything less than that is not harmful to your health. Obviously, the reverse is also believed to be true in that levels over 4 pCI/L or picocuries per liter of vapor intrusion is dangerous to your health, necessitating radon mitigation procedures to efficiently reduce these levels. Radon is a cancer-causing gas that should be eliminated from your home as quickly as possible to safeguard your family from dangerous health issues.
If you can’t smell it, see it, or taste it, why should you care that radon exists in your home? Even if you aren’t aware of the daily exposure to this radioactive gas, the threat is real. Each day that you go on living without radon mitigation procedures in place, you are exposing yourself to this radioactive gas with every single breath that you take, and thereby, increasing the chances that you will develop lung cancer.
Undergoing Radon Mitigation in New York
One of the most commonly used forms of radon mitigation is the active soil depressurization. When conducted correctly, this method of radon mitigation prevents the passage of vapor intrusion from entering the indoor air supply. Essentially, it balances the existing pressure between the ground and a building, thus eliminating the vacuum that previously allowed vapor intrusion to occur. If you are located in New York, you are at higher risk of this type of insidious contaminant and should look into your options for mitigating radon vapor intrusion.
If you suspect radon vapor intrusion in your New York home, then you should look into radon mitigation procedures including gas abatement. Contact a radon mitigation specialist and discuss your available options. A qualified radon mitigation company has the expertise, equipment, and knowledge needed to restore the safety of your New York home.
Radon Mitigation in New York
If you live in the New York area, you and your family are at risk from radon contamination. If you have not already had your New York area home tested for radon, you should do so without delay by hiring a quality testing company. If you find that radon levels around your New York area home are normal, you do not have to worry about a thing. But if you find that radon levels are high in your New York area home, you have some important decisions to make.
When you find that the radon levels in your New York are high, the first thing you need to do is avoid hiring the wrong radon contractor. Hiring the wrong company to fix a radon problem in your New York area home could actually make your radon problem even worse. That is because fixing a radon problem in a New York area home requires a special level of training and expertise, along with the tools needed to get the job done.
Choose an Experienced Radon Specialist
Our company has that expertise and experience, along with the tools needed to fix an existing radon problem in your New York area home. When you contact our company, we will first examine your home to find out exactly where that radon is coming from. Once we have a clear understanding of how radon is seeping into your New York area home, we will work with you on a radon mitigation strategy you can afford, and one that is easy to run and maintain.
We will explain exactly what is needed to get rid of radon in your New York area home. And unlike some contractors, our company will not bombard you with difficult to understand jargon and endless choices. Instead, we will sit down with you to discuss all of your options, and help you determine the best course of action to keep your New York area home free of radon, both now and in the future.
What Homeowners in New York Need to Know About Radon
According to the New York State Department of Health, the threat of radon in basements and living areas in New York homes is a significant cause for concern. Many counties throughout New York are completely or partially located in Zone 1 areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns Zone 1 status to locations in which indoor radon is above acceptable levels, posing a substantial threat to human health.
Radon Radioactive Gas
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in rock and soil wherever uranium is present. Uranium decays into radium which then decays into radon. This invisible, odorless gas is undetectable by human senses and can be breathed in as you sleep or move around your home. A high enough exposure for a lengthy enough period of time has a carcinogenic effect on the human body.
Breathing in radon particles can damage sensitive lung tissue. The Surgeon General of the United States reports that radon is the primary cause of lung cancer in people who do not smoke. Smoking (or being around a smoker) and being exposed to radon raises the risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer even higher. Each year some 21,000 Americans die from lung cancer attributed to radon pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Radon in New York Homes
Radon invades your home by seeping through cracks in your foundation, supporting structures (such as hollow block walls), and unsealed dirt floors (such as unfinished basements or crawl spaces). When radon is emitted into the outside air, it becomes diluted enough to be rendered harmless, but radon that is trapped under a home can build up to dangerous concentrations. Pulled into the house by depressurization or forced into it by outside air movements like high winds, radon can threaten your family’s respiratory health.
The only sure way to know if your family is at risk for indoor radon is to perform a test. Radon testing kits are available at local hardware stores, home improvement centers, and many supermarkets. Short-term tests usually take from 2 to 7 days to administer and give you an idea of the current level of radon in your home. Long-term tests can take from 3 months to 1 year and give you an annual average of indoor radon levels. The results of either test can provide you with your radon exposure in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon when the level is over 4 pCi/L, but any amount of radon can be unhealthy.
If you test your New York home, or have it tested by a radon specialist, you may find that some form of radon reduction is needed. A certified radon mitigation specialist can help you decide which approach is best for your home and level of indoor radon. Homes with basements or slab on grade need different types of remedies than houses with crawlspaces. Some structures have specific areas of radon entry, while others have more diffuse entry paths. A certified radon mitigation specialist is trained to know which method to apply to which type of structure.